Java Blend workers win Union!

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BOYCOTT OVER!

Java Blend employees have won their union. After a settlement was reached yesterday, ballots cast a year ago in a vote to unionize were finally counted this morning – and 90% of workers voted to join SEIU Local 2.

“We are very proud – this wasn’t easy,” said Andy Mawko, one of the worker leaders. “We stood up for ourselves and fought for what was right. When we fight, we win!”

“We are excited to start negotiations in good faith as soon as possible,” said Em Kristensen, another one of the terminated leaders. “We are looking forward to winning a collective agreement that addresses concerns like job security, health and safety protections and setting the foundation for a long-term relationship between the Java Blend and our Union.”

Java Blend workers celebrate victory outside NS Labour Board.
Java Blend workers celebrate victory outside NS Labour Board.

This is a big win for the workers at Java Blend.

“We have an important message to the beautiful community that supported us,” said Cailen Pygott. “Together, we can achieve incredible things! From regular customers to prominent leaders, artists like El Jones, and from businesses that believe in doing the right thing: Thank you. Halifax is a Union town — and we encourage all non-union service workers to unite and organize.”

There is an agreement to start good faith bargaining soon and to reach the best possible collective agreement over the next four weeks. The agreement includes a provision to start recalling terminated employees; their dismissal was the subject of an Unfair Labour Practice complaint filed by SEIU, which has now been withdrawn.

The Union won a city-wide bargaining unit that includes the Java Blend cafes on North St and Sackville in Halifax, the production and roastery warehouse on Borden Ave. in Dartmouth, as well as the Cortado Tasting Room in Bedford.  If a deal is not ratified in the agreed timeframe, the parties have agreed to conciliation.

The Union has called off the boycott of Java Blend and all it’s products.

BACKGROUND

Workers at Java Blend Coffee Limited began organizing a Union at the workplace in early 2023. Java Blend is a roasting production and retail business that operates in four locations in the Halifax Regional Municipality including three cafes: Java Blend North Street, Java Blend Sackville Street and Cortado Tasting Room. The Roastery and production outlet is located at 30 Borden Avenue in Dartmouth.

Workers across the Java Blend company cast their votes on June 2, 2023 with the goal of unionizing with SEIU Local 2.

These ballots remain sealed to this day because of delays caused by Java Blend’s objections over which employees should be included in the union.

On January 23, 2024, nine café employees, including the four leaders of a union drive, were illegally terminated according to an Unfair Labour Practice complaint. 

On January 31, SEIU Local 2 filed an unfair labour practice complaint and announced its plans to fight what we believe to be illegal union-busting terminations.

After months of Java Blend ownership objections that are delaying the counting of ballots from the June 2023 Union vote, a boycott of Java Blend and it’s products started on April 28, 2024.

INSTAGRAM

Rapper and activist @iamgeneralkhan at our #BoycottTheBlend rally!

⭐️UPDATE: The union has won and we are calling for an end to the boycott. See website for more details.

It’s been one long year since the start of our struggle to unionize javablendcoffee.
Throughout this time, the employer has tried to stall the counting of the union-votes, our ability to begin collective-bargaining all while terminating worker-leaders/supporters.

Halifax — let’s show them we’re a union town 🪧 Keep boycotting Java Blend until they prove they can do better for the workers / communities they do business in.


#StopUnionBusting #solidarity #unionstrong #unionize #halifax #canlab #cdnpoli #workerscantwait #seiu #coffeeshop #coffeelife #baristadaily #SpillTheBeansOnJavaBlend
...

Poet, journalist and activist, Professor El Jones at our #BoycottTheBlend rally!

⭐️UPDATE: The union has won and we are calling for an end to the boycott. See website for more details.

It’s been two weeks since we launched our boycott and one long year since the start of our struggle to unionize javablendcoffee.
Throughout this time, the employer has tried to stall the counting of the union-votes, our ability to begin collective-bargaining all while terminating worker-leaders/supporters.

Halifax — let’s show them we’re a union town 🪧 Keep boycotting Java Blend until they prove they can do better for the workers / communities they do business in.

--
#StopUnionBusting #solidarity #unionstrong #unionize #halifax #canlab #cdnpoli #workerscantwait #seiu #coffeeshop #coffeelife #baristadaily #SpillTheBeansOnJavaBlend
...

💥JOIN US💥 for a rally outside Java Blend (North St) on Feb 10 at 1pm

With all the hallmarks of an orchestrated campaign of retaliation aimed at crushing workers’ rights, terminated workers of Java Blend hosted a press conference on Jan31 to share their story 💢

While the employer states it had to lay off 25% of its staff due to financial hardship, the reality is that they terminated 100% of the worker-leaders of the ongoing public union drive since June 2023 👀

The Union’s unfair labour practice complaint is posted publicly on our website ☕️ You should read it; it’s juicy

#SpillTheBeansOnJavaBlend
...

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IN THE NEWS

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  • Java Blend (15)
Screenshot of Saltwire article

Contract issues brewing at Java Blend more than just wages

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Cailen Pygott, Emily “Em K” Kristensen, and Andy Mawko. sitting at a table during a press conference.

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The employer’s conduct has all the hallmarks of an orchestrated campaign of retaliation aimed at crushing workers’ rights, according to the complaint.
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